Ottawa-Gatineau Tech Jobs Lowest in 5 years

According to the latest from Stats Canada, Ottawa-Gatineau tech jobs have hit a new five-year low:

The technology sector bled another 800 jobs, dropping to 46,900, a new five-year low.

Layoffs at Nortel Networks and other companies have eliminated 6,800 jobs in 12 months.


Latest Employment Stats for October

Region Unemployment Rate
Ottawa 5.2%
Gatineau 5.9%
Ontario 9.3%
Canada 8.6%
U.S. 10.2% (26 year high) / 17.5% (including underemployed)

The Globe and Mail has this interactive webpage that gives numbers by city and province:


BMO publishes employment reports for the US and Canada.

Stats Canada Labour Force Survey Nov 6, 2009 provides some insights in the job types and associated impacts:

Employment by class of worker and industry (based on NAICS)
September 2009 October 2009 September to October 2009 October 2008 to October 2009
Seasonally adjusted
thousands % change
Class of worker
Employees 14,110.5 14,039.8 -0.5 -3.5
Self-employed 2,727.5 2,755.0 1.0 3.9
Public/private sector employees
Public 3,433.0 3,407.4 -0.7 -1.6
Private 10,677.5 10,632.3 -0.4 -4.1
All industries 16,838.0 16,794.8 -0.3 -2.3
Goods-producing sector 3,714.6 3,708.3 -0.2 -8.2
Agriculture 319.5 321.9 0.8 -1.3
Natural resources 313.0 301.7 -3.6 -11.0
Utilities 150.3 149.9 -0.3 0.9
Construction 1,166.8 1,178.0 1.0 -5.8
Manufacturing 1,765.0 1,756.8 -0.5 -11.0
Services-producing sector 13,123.4 13,086.4 -0.3 -0.5
Trade 2,662.9 2,632.1 -1.2 -1.7
Transportation and warehousing 797.7 819.9 2.8 -5.8
Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing 1,121.1 1,118.0 -0.3 4.4
Professional, scientific and technical services 1,199.8 1,196.9 -0.2 -0.6
Business, building and other support services 645.8 639.0 -1.1 -4.6
Educational services 1,188.4 1,196.5 0.7 -1.0
Health care and social assistance 1,946.8 1,955.1 0.4 1.7
Information, culture and recreation 791.5 785.1 -0.8 4.8
Accommodation and food services 1,032.0 1,034.5 0.2 -2.9
Other services 805.4 785.5 -2.5 2.5
Public administration 932.0 923.8 -0.9 -3.1

Ottawa Tech Jobs Melting Away

The Ottawa-Gatineau unemployment rate took a sharp jump recently and currently sits at 5.2%.

Under the surface, the situation for tech jobs is increasingly serious.

In Ottawa-Gatineau technology jobs have been evaporating at an alarming rate –  in just the last 12 months,  the region has lost 8,800 tech jobs.  This represents greater then a 14% loss. Further, Ottawa-Gatineau has lost almost 30% of its regional tech jobs compared to 2000.   Ottawa-Gatineau tech jobs peaked at 74,000 in 2000 and are now down to 53, 800 as of March 2009.

Stats Canada has published that during the 2002 bubble burst – 4 out of 5 laid off tech workers did not find work in high tech, and 2 of 5 left the City of Ottawa.

The tech sector is continuing to shed jobs in Ottawa-Gatineau.

Ottawa-Gatineau faces a significant loss of tech capability and associated economic impact/growth for the region.

Lead to Win is focused on launching new technology businesses in Ottawa-Gatineau to retain and create new tech jobs.   If you are concerned about the state of the technology sector in Ottawa-Gatineau or are interested in launching a new tech business in the region, you are encouraged to visit

Lead-to-Win Turns Economic Downturn into Opportunity for Laid-Off Technology Workers in Canada’s Capital Region

April 16, 2009 – Press Release

Ottawa, Ontario

Lead-to-Win Turns Economic Downturn into Opportunity for Laid-Off Technology Workers in Canada’s Capital Region

In the tech meltdown of 2002, four out of five laid-off tech workers did not find work in high tech, and in Ottawa-Gatineau two out of five laid-off tech workers left the region.   In 2009, Canada’s Capital Region high tech sector faces a significantly greater challenge.

Today, Ontario’s Talent First Network is pleased to announce the launch of the Lead To Win  program for laid-off tech workers.  The program is based upon a program of the same name that was delivered during the last economic downturn in 2002. Over half of the participants in the 2002 Lead to Win program created a new business in Canada’s Capital Region.  These new businesses collectively created over 300 jobs and attracted over $90M in investment.

“Lead to Win is a great initiative for our region and we are pleased to support the program,” stated Larry O’Brien, Mayor of the City of Ottawa.  There is a proven recipe here. This is precisely the sort of innovative action that takes the current economic situation and turns it into a compelling opportunity for growth.”

Professor Tony Bailetti of Carleton University stated “We have a real opportunity to drive massive innovation in Canada’s Capital Region. Lead to Win will equip the next wave of technology entrepreneurs to launch new businesses that target the right market spaces. We did this in 2002 and we are going to do it again.”

David Vicary, founder of Weyeseyes and previously President and founder of Nakina Systems was also a 2002 Lead to Win participant. Vicary statedThe Lead to Win program was developed to help entrepreneurs in tough times. The lessons learned in Lead to Win were critical to my success in founding and growing Nakina Systems.”

The program is intended for talented individuals who want to launch a new technology business.  The program is free to qualified applicants.  Applications are currently being solicited for the program.  Space is limited and interested individuals are encouraged to apply online at

Lead to Win is sponsored by the City of Ottawa, Talent First Network and Carleton University.  Lead to Win associates include alumni from the 2002 Lead To Win program, local businesses, and faculty members and graduate students of Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management program (

About the Talent First Network

The Talent First Network is a successful Ontario-wide initiative funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and Carleton University.  The Talent First Network enables the commercialization of market offers that rely on open source projects and global ecosystems for their revenue.

Contact: Tony Bailetti,, 613 829 8885

Canadian Unemployment Rate Hits 8% in March

Stats Canada has reported that Canada’s unemployment rate hit 8% in March.  This is the highest rate in seven years.


In March, Ontario unemployment remained steady at 8.7%, however Ottawa’s unemployment rate rose sharply and is now 5.2%.

More details on Canada’s forecast unemployment rates and trends for 2009 is in this blog.

Comparison of Canada’s unemployment rates with the great depression is in this blog.

Cities in Ontario at Over 10% Unemployment

An increasing number of cities in Ontario are significantly above the national average of 7.7% unemployment, including:

  • Windor 12.6%
  • London 8.4%
  • Kitchener 9.1%
  • Hamilton 8.4%
  • St-Catherines-Niagara 9.5%
  • Hamilton 8.4%
  • Toronto 8.3%
  • Oshawa 8.2%

Ottawa is at 4.6%, but this low number may be misleading due to the outflow of laid-off workers from the city.  During past tech layoffs Stats Canada reported that, 2 out of 5 laid off tech workers left Ottawa — with the declining prospects for tech workers in Ottawa, this rate of departures will likely have increased in the current downturn.

Canadian Unemployment in February Hits 7.7%

Stats Canada has reported that Canada’s unemployment rate hit 7.7% in February. 

In February, Ontario unemployment hit 8.7%.  Stats Canada also noted that just over half of all employment losses in Canada since October have happened in Ontario

More details on Canada’s forecast unemployment rates and trends for 2009 is in this blog.

Comparison of Canada’s unemployment rates with the great depression is in this blog.